PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Health announced four more COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday, bringing the state’s death toll to 1,188.
Health officials also reported 288 new positive cases and a daily positivity rate of 3.6%, with 8,031 tests conducted the previous day.
In addition to the 288 cases reported Tuesday, the Health Department also newly disclosed another 134 cases were added to previous days over the past two weeks.
As of noon Tuesday, 168 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, with 14 patients in the intensive care unit and eight on ventilators.
The Rhode Island Department of Health says coronavirus cases topped 500 just last Thursday, marking a new all-time daily high.
“Over the last week we have seen days with more new cases then we have seen since the beginning of this pandemic,” said Joseph Wendelken, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Health. “Now keep in mind we are doing a lot more testing than we were doing early on so the more testing we do, the more cases you’re going to find but a new case is a new case.”
He says as case numbers move in the wrong direction, it’s really important that residents pay close attention to public health directions, like wearing a mask and not socializing in larger groups.
“In every demographic, in every community, we are seeing increases and its because people are socializing, their webs are too large, and people are not wearing mask. Every time there is a case in Rhode Island we do a deep investigation and every time we learn people are just not doing a good enough job wearing their mask and they are in close contact with too many people,” said Wendelken.
12 News also asked the Department of Health about the backlog of K-12 testing.
They say because of much more testing volume, they are making adjustments so that test scheduling can be as quick as possible.
They recently had more than 800 tests scheduled, which is more than we have had on any other day.
La Salle Academy canceled all in-person classes for this week after a teacher tested positive for the coronavirus. The teacher and their close contacts have been instructed to quarantine, according to the school.
Cumberland High School also moved to full remote learning on Tuesday after both a student and a staff member tested positive. School officials said a deep cleaning will take place while students and staff are out of the building.
The U.S. overall recorded its second highest daily COVID-19 cases last Thursday with more than 75,000 confirmed cases.
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